Monday, August 28, 2006

A jet, a helicopter, now a whale

What a super birthday present, an orca graced us today with his/her presence and played in our bow wave. It was fantastic. I was below and Barry yelled at me to come and see the killer whale, he said it had surfaced just 10 feet off the bow. I thought he was exaggerating but then I saw it too. Wow, I grabbed my lifejacket and went forward to watch the whale, She/he came up right beside the boat, then she dove down and I could see her white patches as she turned and went under the boat toward the stern. A minute later she came up directly in front of the bow, from underneath and then she blew and just disappeared. I decided that it was a she because she was so curious. Anyway I think she was about 15-20 feet long. I feel really blessed to have seen one up so close. Barry said he would rather have seen her from a further distance away.

We are on our way to Crescent City, California, it will be an overnight sail from Coos Bay. It has been foggy all day so we are sailing in a 50 meter diameter piece of sea, it never seems to get any larger. Sometimes I get quite disoriented and think I am going in the wrong direction, but our trusty compass and GPS keep us on the right path.

We had to take our mainsail down because the nut on the gooseneck, which is the thing that attaches the boom to the mast, came loose and tumbled overboard. We don't have a spare nut big enough to replace it, we are both kicking ourselves that we did not check it, with the new boom we should have looked at all the attachment pieces to ensure they were still tightly secured. Live and learn, there was no damage done, it wasn't a big panic situation and we learned a valuable lesson. The genoa is pulling us along just fine at the moment.
We made out way into Brookings, Oregon, WHY, we are not sure. Barry had mislabled a route on the GPS and instead of going to CALIFORNIA, we ended up in southern Oregon. We thought we were going into Crescent City, California until the last minute, it was very foggy and we were following the GPS and then we put on the chart plotter on the computer. Well glory be, I looked at the chart plotter and it said we were going into the port of Brookings. I told Barry and he said, we are still in Crescent City right, and I said I don't think so. After checking the position on the GPS we determined that yes indeed we were still in Oregon, not in California. The routes were just mislabled on the GPS and if we had followed the route to Brookings we would be in California, but oh well, no harm done, we are safe if just not sure exactly where we are. We hope to go to Eureka, which is really in California tomorrow. It was really quite funny and the navigator is really miffed at himself. He said not to tell anybody so shhhhh!!!
We managed to fix the boom today so will be able to put the main up tomorrow, we are quite tired and I need to get to bed.